Tag Archives: Peter Shurman

Niagara – Moderate PCs unhappy with radical right policies could send a message Thursday

Tomorrow two provincial by-elections are taking place in Niagara and Thornhill.

Thornhill, the vacated seat of Peter Shurman, is expected to remain Tory blue despite criticism by the departing MPP of his former party. He recently described the Hudak Conservatives “where a plan without a vision is a nightmare.” For the record, the cantankerous Shurman believes none of the three major party leaders are fit to lead, including PC Leader Tim Hudak.

More media attention will likely be spent in Niagara where the Tories risk embarrassment should the polls be correct and the New Democrat’s Wayne Gates emerges as the victor. Shurman raised eyebrows among his own party by predicting an NDP win in this riding.

Since the poll showing Gates with a slight lead over former Tory MPP Bart Maves, the Tories have been slinging mud non-stop. It’s the opposite of most political campaign strategies – start negative and finish positive – likely indicative of how desperate the Tories have become.

Probably the worst thing the Tories could have done is send Monte McNaughton to Niagara. McNaughton is the PC’s labour critic who has a penchant for over-the-top hyperbole demonizing the labour movement.

For a party that was suddenly soft-pedaling their plan to end the Rand Formula fearful of the labour vote in the riding, sending McNaughton appears to be a miscalculation.

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Would the PCs slash health spending even further?

The Ontario PCs have released a new video with finance critic Peter Shurman suggesting the Liberals cannot balance their budget on schedule by restraining health care to 2 per cent and education to 1 per cent.

The timing appears a bit off. The video was released just a day after it was revealed the deficit will be $5 billion lower than expected, coming in a $9.8 billion rather than $14.8 billion for 2012-13.

It’s almost laughable the Tories are still using Don Drummond’s ridiculous projections that we are on our way to a $30 billion deficit when the numbers are clearly heading in the opposite direction.

Unfortunately Shurman doesn’t really provide the detailed answer to his mythical problem, although ominously he suggests a plan of action and the “courage to implement it” is what’s needed. That courage, so we are led to believe, includes more tax cuts.

He complains that the government’s spending plans are only known for three years. That means there are no budget details beyond 2015-16. To Shurman, this is his big “aha!” moment.

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